Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crap People Don't Tell You About Running: #6

When you tell another runner that you're training for a marathon, a disturbingly high percentage of the time the first question from that runner will be:

"Have your toenails started to fall off yet?"

Excuse me, what?

And really, I don't know what's worse here: the implication that my toenails may in fact start sloughing off or the smile that spreads across these runners' faces as they ask.

No, seriously: what??!!

So any and all advice you have about getting me through this race with all ten of my toenails intact would be greatly appreciated in the comment section below. Because I know this for an actual fact: I want to lose a toenail even less than any of you want to read about me losing said toenail.

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, and independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run at


  1. I have never had the displeasure. In the few cases was the hint of a problem, I think I was able to head it off by getting new, *properly fitting* shoes and changing the type of socks I was wearing to something thinner or thicker (as needed).

  2. Toe nails falling off is very disturbing. I had to google it. Apparently it has to do with friction and blood blisters forming under the nail. They supposedly turn black before they fall off so you'll have a warning...

  3. I lots one on each foot my 1st marathon. Properly fitting shoes and padded socks can help. But for a lot of people it's all part of the 1st marathon experience. Your feet just aren't used to the pounding. On the plus side, if you keep doing marathons it'll stop happening.

    Vaseline is your friend though. Definitely your arches and toes. Among other places.

  4. But Darren, I'm partial to my toenails. No fetish or anything, but I am quite attached to them. Literally. :)